(Petaluma, CA). Wood, Smith, Henning and Berman’s Appellate Bench adds additional credentials with partner Steve Disharoon becoming certified as an Appellate Specialist by the State Bar of California. Disharoon joins partner Stephen Caine, and makes WSHB one of the few full-service law firms with multiple Certified Appellate Specialists.
“While many lawyers handle appeals throughout the State of California, the appellate specialist certification is a high honor and a rarity in California,” said firmwide managing partner Stewart Reid. “In fact, fewer than 450 attorneys out of approximately 266,000 hold an Appellate Specialist Certification and two of those are WSHB Partners.”
Disharoon acknowledged the honor of obtaining the coveted Appellate Specialist certification, commenting “I am proud to join the small group of Certified Appellate Specialists in California, and to be one of only four in Sonoma County.”
Disharoon joins WSHB partner Stephen Caine, who is based in the Los Angeles office, in holding this distinguished credential. Caine has been certified as a specialist in appellate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 2002. Underscoring the high bar set for this credential, Caine has researched and authored over 125 appellate briefs in the California Court of Appeal, California Supreme Court, and United States Court of Appeals.
The State Bar of California developed the certification for legal specialists in 1985 and added the appellate specialty in 1996. The specialties allow attorneys to demonstrate advanced competence in a particular area and identify themselves to clients as a specialist. In order to achieve a specialty certificate, attorneys must undergo a comprehensive exam, complete a detailed application demonstrating a high level of experience and education in the specialty area, and submit evaluations from fellow attorneys and judges who can attest to the applicant’s experience and ability.
“This is an effort that is a decade in the making, ever since my first successful appeal back in 2012. The certification process was challenging, including extensive experience and education requirements, and a grueling full day exam. I am proud to have achieved this milestone, and look forward to continuing to assist our clients in need of appellate services," stated Disharoon.
Disharoon is an accomplished attorney whose appellate work has included the handling of numerous appeals, writ petitions, and oral arguments in both state and federal court. He is known for his outstanding written work-product, analysis of legal issues, and oral advocacy. He also has taught and published about appellate practice and procedure, and was featured on the cover of the March 2022 edition of the Los Angeles Lawyer magazine for his article on the Life of an Appellate Case.
Disharoon’s appellate skills translate to his other areas of practice, which include handling matters involving complex federal and state law, government and public entity law, premises liability, intellectual property, technology, and transportation. He is skilled at accurately assessing risk and recommending cost-effective strategies that best serve his clients’ interests. Disharoon prides himself on his communication skills, commitment to ethics, and high-quality legal work. He has successfully resolved innumerable cases, whether through dispositive motions (and successful appeals), trial, or settlement.